This is Leonard Pitt’s story of growing up the misfit in Detroit in the 1940s and 50s. In a later age he would have been put on Ritalin and paraded before psychiatrists because he couldn’t pay attention in school. In 1962, at the end of a misguided foray towards a career in advertising he took the ultimate cure, a trip to Paris. He thought it would only be a visit. He stayed seven years. There in the City of Light, Leonard’s mind exploded. And it hasn’t stopped since. Studying mime with master Etienne Decroux and living in Paris were the university he never knew. This inspiration unleashed a voracious appetite to understand the “why” of things. He asked a simple question, “Why did the ballet go up?” While building a theatre career performing and teaching, he embarked on a quest to study the origins of the ballet, the history of early American popular music, the pre-Socratic philosophers, early modern science, the European witch hunt, the history of Paris, and more. To his unschooled mind it all fits together. Who would see a historical arc between Louis XIV and Elvis Presley? Leonard does. And he’ll tell you about it.
Dickens's relationship to cities is part of his modernity and his enduring fascination. How he thought about, grasped and conceptualised the rapidly expanding and anonymous urban scene are all fascinating aspects of a critical debate which, starting virtually from Dickens's own time, has become more and more active and questioning of the significance of that new thing, the unknown and unknowable, city. Although Dickens was influenced by several European and American cities, the most significant city for Dickens was London, the city he knew as a boy in the 1820s and which developed in his lifetime to become the finance and imperial capital of the nineteenth-century. His sense of London as monumental and fashionable, modern and anachronistic, has generated a large number of writings and critical approaches: Marxist, sociological, psychoanalytic and deconstructive. Dickens looks at the city from several aspects: as a place bringing together poverty and riches; as the place of the new and of chance and coincidence, and of secret lives exposed by the special figure of the detective. Another crucial area of study is the relationship of the city to women, and women's place in the city, as well as the way Dickens's London matches up with other visual representations. This anthology of criticism surveys the field and is a major contribution to the study of cities, city culture, modernity and Dickens. It brings together key previously published articles and essays and features a comprehensive bibliography of work which scholars can continue to explore.
In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destoy her that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo's sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century.
The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. In England, only five years earlier, conspirators nearly succeeded in blowing up King James I and his Parliament. The seeds of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War are visibly being sown, and the possibility for both enlightenment and disaster abounds. But Valentin Rochefort, duelist and spy for France's powerful financial minister, could not care less. Until he is drawn into the glittering palaces, bawdy back streets, and stunning theatrics of Renaissance France and Shakespearean London in a deadly plot both to kill King James I and to save him. For this swordsman without a conscience is about to find himself caught between loyalty, love, and blackmail, between kings, queens, politicians, and Rosicrucians, and the woman he has, unknowingly, crossed land and sea to meet.
An estimated 5 million Americans suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and live diminished lives in which they are compelled to obsess about something or to repeat a similar task over and over. Traditionally, OCD has been treated with Prozac or similar drugs. The problem with medication, aside from its cost, is that 30 percent of people treated don't respond to it, and when the pills stop, the symptoms invariably return. In Brain Lock, Jeffrey M. Schwartz presents a simple four-step method for overcoming OCD that is so effective, it's now used in academic treatment centers throughout the world. Proven by brain-imaging tests to actually alter the brain's chemistry, this method doesn't rely on psychopharmaceuticals. Instead, patients use cognitive self-therapy and behavior modification to develop new patterns of response to their obsessions. In essence, they use the mind to fix the brain. Using the real-life stories of actual patients, Brain Lock explains this revolutionary method and provides readers with the inspiration and tools to free themselves from their psychic prisons and regain control of their lives.
“Underscores the writer’s profound erudition, lively wit, and passion for ideas of all shapes and sizes . . . Eco’s pleasure in such explorations is obvious and contagious.” — Booklist Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Eco has written and lectured over the past ten years: from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his recent novel The Prague Cemetery — every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it — to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels (and in the process he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world); from indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, to an examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, to censorship and violence and WikiLeaks. These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsession by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists. “True wit and wisdom coexist with fierce scholarship inside Umberto Eco, a writer who actually knows a thing or two about being truly human.” — Buffalo News "Thought provoking . . . nuanced . . . the collection amply shows off Eco's sophisticated, agile mind." — Publishers Weekly
Scintillating essays about the author himself, his interests, his influences, his friends and foes. He offers candid and not always flattering assessments of other writers. He ruminates on science and the often dubious paths into which it seem intent on leading us, whether into outer or inner space. Burroughs reviews his reviewers, explains his famous "cup-up" method, and discusses the role coincidence has played in his life and his work.